Getting Kids Cooking: get involved!

The experts tell us that children need to eat well to reach their full potential, and by getting kids cooking at a young age, they are more likely to make better quality food choices in adulthood.  We wholeheartedly agree.

We’ve been getting kids cooking since the late 90s.  It all started when a primary school teacher called up one of our restaurants, asking if she could bring along her class and show them how to cook.  Our free School Visits grew from there.  Since then, we’ve welcomed into our kitchens hundreds of thousands of children, teaching them about fresh ingredients, introducing them to new flavours and, of course, giving them the chance to make their own pizza.

Now, we’ve teamed up with foodie dad of five, Alex James, and the Children’s Food Trust to inspire a million children to get cooking over the next 12 months.  Alex sums up why we’re working together and what cooking with his kids means to him, beautifully:

“I think it’s vital to engage children with food as soon as you can.  The first dish I cooked was a full-English with a little help from my Granddad – I used to give him a hand in the kitchen at his B&B in Bournemouth.  Food’s such a brilliant trasher of boundaries.  We love cooking together; I’m never happier.  It’s such a simple way to delight and engage them and they’re learning something really important.  Let’s get cooking!”

‘Getting Kids Cooking’ aims to help a generation of young people take their first steps in the kitchen.  There are three easy ways to get involved:

1. Next time you’re in a PizzaExpress order a Fiorentina – 25p from each one will go to the Children’s Food Trust, who get kids cooking

2. Tell primary school teachers about our free School Visits where learn about basic health and safety in the kitchen, fresh ingredients and how to make a pizza

3. Join in with the 2014 BIG Cookathon by visiting  Next year’s event will see over 40,000 people learn to make a pizza from scratch using fresh ingredients

Introducing our guest blogger: Mellow Mummy

At PizzaExpress, we believe that is extremely important to talk to people from all backgrounds and experiences about their food influences. We love to  hear how people eat at home, how they interact in the kitchen and also what they look for in a balanced diet.

Over the next month, we will be inviting some guest bloggers to share their food influences.

Today we would like to introduce you to Emma Button of the Mellow Mummy blog. We really enjoy reading Emma’s blog – especially the ‘cooking with kids’ section. ‘Cooking with kids’ contains recipes for kids to cook with parents. It is truly inspirational to read about techniques that help children get interested in food and get families cooking together.

Here are some words from Emma:
I’m Emma, I live and work in Berkshire.  I am a mum of two girls, age 1 and 4.  Motherhood had a fascinating effect on me; instead of making me stressed and worried, motherhood has calmed me down and made me take life at a much more relaxed pace.  By day I write banking software for a large US company and in the evenings, after the girls are safely tucked into bed, I blog about my mellow approach to parenthood. 

For me, teaching my two girls to cook from such an early age helps them to understand where the food they eat comes from. During the summer we can source a few choice vegetables, herbs and soft fruits from the garden – gardening with toddlers is so much fun – and turn them into meals right there and then. From garden to plate in a matter of minutes.

Understanding the science and the nature behind their food is a learning journey for children. Even before her first birthday, my daughter is exploring textures of flour, sugar, water and the resulting dough while her older sister is fascinated by the transformations that her raw ingredients make as we cook them. As we cook we chat about the origins of the meat, the starches and the vegetables we use. Learning every step of the way.


We will have some more posts from Emma in the coming weeks.

Our restaurant design

In recent months we have opened or transformed some exciting PizzaExpress restaurants around the world.

The thing that really brings our restaurants to life is the local story or significance of a building that we inhabit. From ex-town halls in Biggleswade and old Churches in Morningside – we love turning an old story and giving it new life.

We love being part of a local story and retelling it with the original artworks on the walls and keeping some of the riginal features, such as the organ in the Morningside restaurant below.

Do you have a PizzaExpress near you that tells an interesting story in its design?